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Damn riveted upper balljoints...

Discussion in '1992-Present Chevy & GMC models' started by sled_dog, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    Doing all 4 balljoints on the front of my 97 C2500. Lowers are of course simple and straight forward, got to love my Matco Master Balljoint Press. But damn those uppers. Granted it only took me like 20 minutes to get the first one, but I hate that. Anyway, why the hell did GM think riveting in their uppers was the way to go? One thing I think Ford may have them beat on, press in upper balljoints :doah:
     
  2. chevytaHOE5674

    chevytaHOE5674 Registered Member

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    I like the riveted in BJ's. Because once you replace them the first time it is like a 5 minute replacement everytime after that, and the way i wheel my IFS it is somewhat often.
     
  3. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    117,000 miles on my 97 and it just got its first set of uppers! Not even certain it needed them, just noted a tiny bit of play in one and decided since I was doing 3 I might as well do all 4.
     
  4. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    well then try doing a awd astro lower. :haha:

    slide fit between the 2 halfs of the lower arm and then 4 big 5/8 rivits hold it in. cant just melt them off and swap it easy the first time. :doah:
     
  5. Cajun4x4

    Cajun4x4 1/2 ton status

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    my truck still has the stock BJs after 216,000 miles, glad i will never have to change them :D
     
  6. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    Might have had upper control arms at some point. Wouldn't be the first Chevy I've seen to wear out the upper control arm bushings pretty bad and require replacement. And when you need balljoints and bushings, control arm replacement just makes sense. Done it before on an ambulance. Unload the balljoints and there was like almost 2" of play in the control arm bushings they were so shot.
     
  7. Cajun4x4

    Cajun4x4 1/2 ton status

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    when i bought the truck i had a complete list of every repair done to it, the only thing thats not original under my truck is the pitman and idler arm
     
  8. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    wow, amazed they aren't wasted
     
  9. BigBen

    BigBen 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Mine's all original at 225,000 miles.
    Not a problem so far.
     
  10. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    you guys both live in state san-inspection correct? Ever actually checked them? Just curious. I've never heard of anyone having all 4 last that long. Its just, unheard of. In my world anyway. Everyone I've ever known with a Chevy needs at least lowers by 60k miles at the latest. I'd bet my rig had lowers at some point and the ones i put in are the second set.
     
  11. BigBen

    BigBen 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    You might have to tell me how to check them..... (hate to admit that) :)

    I grease 'em every 3000 miles.
    Whenever I rotate the tires (every 6000) I try to rock the tires and look for any motion in the joints.

    I had the whole front end checked out and aligned at 180,000 when the last set of tires were put on and everything was OK then.

    If there's any other way I should be checking them, let me know and I'll check them out the next time it's up on the jack.

    I sure wouldn't mind learning something!

    -Ben
     
  12. Cajun4x4

    Cajun4x4 1/2 ton status

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    same here... i rock the tires every time i rotate (every 2k) and so far i have no play to be seen, except a little slack in my steering box. the first time my truck was ever aligned was at 197k... the little clips had to be nocked out at the time
     
  13. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    thats now how you check balljoints on an IFS rig.

    have to place a jackstand underneath the lower control arm and let all the weight of the vehicle rest on that(none on the tires). That unloads the balljoints. Otherwise there is spring force passing through both sets of balljoints. Then use a prybar underneath the tire and pry up to check for lower balljoint play. And then rock in and out on the top portion of the tire to check the upper.

    Not saying its no possible, cool for you guys if they are good. A lot of shops miss a lot of crap imo. I've seen trucks come in with new inspection stickers on that needed balljoints.
     
  14. BigBen

    BigBen 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Sled,

    Thanks for the inspection tip.
    I'll check back in the next time I have the Yukon up on jacks and let you know.

    -Ben
     
  15. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    if you think it sucks knocking out rivets to replace them you will hate doing them on 99 and newer. when I got my 2000 inspected they said the lower passenger BJ had play and I should replace it. I figured since I'm in there I'll do the upper. tell the guy behind the parts counter to get the parts.(I work at a dealership) :eek1: the upper BJ is part of the upper A arm so you have to replace the whole thing and its freakin expensive. forget that. I'll wait till its actually worn out. I only have 65k on the truck.
     
  16. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    They are easy to replace though, haha.

    Ford F150s they tell you not to replace the lowers, control arms only. Things are big aluminum, and expensive.
     
  17. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    when I need to do the uppers I am going to buy the aftermarket aluminum uppers with serviceable balljoints. I forget who makes them but you see them on every lifted IFS rig in the magazines.
     
  18. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    Rough Country makes some I believe.
     

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